September 13, 2005 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Action Item 1: Bill Burgess will draft concise resolution regarding the Fifty States initiative to be acted by the Steering Committee.

Action Item 2: Alan Voss and John Mahoney, (and others, as needed) will prepare Steering Committee presentation focusing on key characteristics and incremental improvements to governance.

Action Item 3: Ivan DeLoatch will review and respond to the written comments regarding the agency compelling language in the charters.

Action Item 4: Leslie Armstrong will transmit a new version of the charters early the week of September 19.

Action Item 5: An E- Ballot for Steering Committee approval of the FGDC Policy on Recognition of Non-Federally Authored Geographic Information Standards and Specifications will be issued for a November vote.

Host: Beth Lockman RAND Corp

Brett Abrams, NARA
Leslie Armstrong, USGS/GIC
Carolyn Austin-Diggs, Dept of the Treasury
Carol Brandt, US DOT
Bill Burgess, BurGIS, LLC/NSGIC
Donald Campbell, FCC
Ivan Cheung, Association of American Geographers
Col. Brian Cullis, DoD
Dennis Crow, USDA
Ivan DeLoatch, USGS/GIC
Robert Dollison, USGS/GIIA
Randy Fusaro, US Census Bureau
Hank Garie, USGS/GIIA
Leonard Gore, Bureau of Land Management
Joe Gregson, National Park Service *
Kitty Hancock, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Robert Harding, U.S. General Services Administration
Betsy Kanalley, USDA
Sherry Konigsberg, BLS
Beth Lachman, DOD
Tony LaVoi, NOAA/CSC *
Mario Lopez-Gomez, DOJ, USGS/GIC detail
John Mahoney, USGS/GIC *
David Morehouse, DOE EIA
Anne O'Connor, U.S. Census Bureau
Betty O'Connor, GSA *
Kim Owens, NOAA *
Eddie Pickle, IONIC Enterprise
John Powell, NARA
Milo Robinson, FGDC Secretariat
Heidi Santiago, DISDI
Jon Sperling, HUD
Alan Stevens, USGS/GSDI Secretariat
Doug Vandegraft, USFWS
Alan Voss, TVA *
Susan Warner, LEAD Alliance
Lee Warren, NGA
Patricia Weir, NASA
Ed Wells, Urban and Regional Information Systems Association
Barbara White, USFWS *

* indicates participation by teleconference

Ivan DeLoatch the FGDC Staff Director started the meeting with some opening remarks—including speaking about Hurricane Katrina and how it has our attention at work.

The Chair and Vice Chair of the Steering Committee are planning to elevate the FGDC profile and highlight the importance of geospatial information. A letter from the Chair and Vice Chair to FGDC agencies is being developed. The letter will include a request that senior level point of contact be identified that has knowledge of agency’s geospatial activities and its investments. The letter is currently under review by OMB.

In regard to the Steering Committee Meeting, additional clarity before on proceeding with the Future Directions Fifty States and Governance team recommendations. The team’s reports were well received, but they will be revisited at the October 3, Steering Committee Meeting.

DeLoatch noted that good progress has been made on drafting the charters, and there might need to be a provision regarding emergency response added to the charter.

Introductions: Round-robin self introductions

Review Action Items from the July Meeting

Leslie Armstrong stated that:

  • Non-Federal Standards policy is ready for electronic ballot
  • Pre-public review of Address Standard is taking place (see:
  • Other action items are completed or will be during today’s meeting

There was discussion about the importance of the address standard. DeLoatch praised URISA for talking the lead and for US Census being the federal sponsor.
Question: Is the private sector was involved. Response: Yes they are.

Steering Committee Agenda
DeLoatch noted that the Chair and Vice Chair of the Steering Committee wanted to have more frequent meetings and want to have strong agenda items. He identified the need to revisit the Fifty States initiative. Funding considerations were an issue at the last Steering Committee meeting.

  • Fifty States initiative
    NGPO sees value in the initiative and is devoting resources to get 10 states started in FY06 and is also working on a contract with NSGIC to support this FGDC initiative.

    Bill Burgess spoke from a handout on Fifty States initiative.

    Funding issues surprised the Steering Committee, but it also got their attention. Provision regarding that applicants for grants must have a state plan or state entitywill be retired as this was a source of a lot of resistance.
    All agencies should participate where they can in the initiative. Fund activities where you can. Agencies need to work together even if you can not commit funding. As agencies see value in the initiative they should find ways to support it.
    Question: Are agencies required to provide funding?
    Response: No, agencies should give the initiative strong consideration and look for opportunities, but a funding commitment is voluntary not mandatory.

    Action Item 1: Bill Burgess will draft concise resolution regarding the Fifty States initiative to be acted upon by the Steering Committee.

    Discussion migrated to geospatial investments. It was recognized that geospatial investments are still a challenge. There was much discussion regarding having activities recognized as geospatial by senior leaders with agencies. There is a need to use geospatial to link to the business needs within an agency. There are some people that “don’t get it.” Greater understanding of geospatial is needed.

  • Governance
    There was consensus on recommendation one—improving FGDC practices—at the last Steering Committee Meeting. This was well received and work is proceeding.

    While there was consensus on recommendation three–improving Federal oversight and management of geospatial investments, this recommendation needs greater clarity and perhaps needs additional study by governance team.

    There was much discussion regarding recommendation two—establishing a National Geospatial Coordinating Council (NGCC). A key question was how to present this topic to the Steering Committee. There was discussion about presenting a range of governance models at the Steering Committee; provide them options. Alternatively, provide them with a better developed implementation plan, thus there would be more details available to the Steering Committee members.

    As an aside, some discussion took place on how Departments with multiple agencies coordinate with there Steering Committee member.

    Need to keep the Steering Committee focused on Governance issues. Need to show progress, perhaps focus on incremental progress. Many details regarding NGCC were not developed by the Governance Team. It was suggested that the presentation focus on those consensus characteristics that were identified by the Governance team. This approach could lead to incremental improvements. Need to focus on what was widely agreed on –where there was consensus-- there were about ten key characteristics. This way we are not saying that we must have a NGCC. Non Federal organizations not having a vote is a fundamental issue and it remains unresolved

    Action Item 2: Alan Voss and John Mahoney, (and others, as needed) will prepare Steering Committee presentation focusing on key characteristics and incremental improvements to governance.


Review of Steering Committee Charter
Leslie Armstrong led this discussion with Susan Warner recording on an easel.
Comments were received. Some re-grouping of language in the charter may occur for readability, but not a change in content. Focused in on Steering Committee voting and decision making process.

  • Coordination needed with the voting Steering Committee members
  • Timeline with deadlines need to be in charters for voting matters in advance of the meetings
  • Need a written resolution on what is being voted on
  • Can have roll call vote—this was preferred
  • Have some visual identification of Steering Committee voting members
  • Identify voting members at the beginning of the meeting and describe voting procedures
  • Steering Committee should still take opinion votes and results recorded “ Sense of the Whole” non-binding as determined by the chair
  • Special meetings can be called by the chair for emergencies

Concerns were expressed that comments regarding the tone of the language in the charters was not addressed. The concern focused on the language being too compelling for agencies, instead the language should be more suggestive of what should agencies do or what is desirable for agencies to do. These concerns will be addressed.

Action Item 3: Ivan DeLoatch will review and respond to the written comments regarding the agency compelling language in the charters

Action Item 4: Leslie Armstrong will transmit a new version of the charters early the week of September 19

Geospatial One Stop & Hurricane Katrina
Hank Garie stated that with the new version of the portal it is time to make a difference in regard to Hurricane Katrina; that we need to share the work that has been done. He encouraged agencies to publish to the GOS portal –to take advantage of the power of the portal because sharing can reduce duplication. Scott Cameron sent a letter to the GOS Federal partners asking for their support of the effort. It is anticipated that the Steering Committee will receive similar letters soon. Geospatial coordination for this event could be a shining light. We have the tools and the will from the leadership.

Hurricane Katrina is highlighted in the portal. And GOS is scrambling to opulate the site. Many organizations have contributed to the portal. Hank proceeded with a demonstration.

  • Go to:
  • Check my home application was demonstrated; it showed imagery with address location
  • Basic searches shown
  • Portal has organizational functions, like library and discussion Showed combining two different web mapping service one from the State of Louisiana and one from EPA
  • Showed how to publish - need to login, and then use tools are available for publishing. See guide that Rob Dollison sent to Coordination group for further details

Some comments during demonstration: Federal agencies need to put more of their information out there as a geospatial web services. Imagery exploitation function would be most useful. A lesson learned analysis would be useful.

Annual Report/Performance Measures
Mario Lopez-Gomez presented concepts for what should be in the Annual Report. It should include maps and charts. Make something that executives can view and get a snap shot what NSDI looks like. NSDI is so big it needs to be synthesized. He showed some examples see presentation for more details

Guidance for the annual report will be distributed shortly.

Agenda items on DoD Spatial Data Infrastructure and Sharing Data Across Defense Agencies were postponed due to time.

Tentative date for the next meeting is Tuesday 11 October, 2005

Meeting adjourned